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Early Irish Picaresque: Richard Head’s The English Rogue and The Miss Display’d A number of modern critics such as Kayman, Knight and Ascari have to a greater or lesser degree rejected the unique status of the Poe/Holmes tradition in crime fiction, a tradition which had privileged the rational, post- enlightenment nature of the genre and its perceived origins. Noting that aspects of crime narratives from the late twentieth and 42nd AEDEAN Conference Córdoba 2018 212 early twenty-first centuries rely on aspects such as the materiality of the body, the importance of bodily fluids, the predominance of physical violence, it is now suggested that these fictions have their roots in an alternative lineage, one rooted in the popular narratives of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the picaresque, in the rogue tales, in the broadsheets and Newgate Calendars, in the Gothic and in sensation fiction (Ascari 2007: 1). Early Irish crime writing was heavily influenced by all of these forms, and indeed,

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